Personal Development and Mutual Understanding
At Dundonald Primary School and Nursery Unit we seek to enable all children to fulfil their potential and to have an appreciation of their own self-worth and self-learning. We aim to develop the personal, emotional, social and physical well-being of each child in our care so that they can make informed and responsible decisions throughout their lives. Our effective teaching of Personal Development and Mutual Understanding (PDMU) has a key role in fulfilling this.
PATHS (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies)
Primarily through using we look at four main conceptual units – Emotional Understanding, Self-Control, Social Problem Solving and Peer Relations & Self Esteem. This develops respect, kindness, a sense of fair play, social justice, and teamwork skills. It improves self-esteem, self-control, emotional intelligence, classroom behaviour, conflict resolution and academic achievement. Using emotion cards, large posters, stories, and puppets called Daphne the Duck, Twiggle the Turtle, Duke the Dog and Henrietta the Hedgehog these themes are taught in a meaningful and fun way.
Pupil of the Day
During PATHS lessons children are encouraged to give each other compliments daily. There are four types of compliments: how people look, things people have, things people do, and the way people are. Pupil of the Day gives children the opportunity to give and receive compliments each day. This helps to build self-esteem. Names are picked out at random and are not based on academic ability or any previous behaviour. The compliment list is written up for the chosen child each day and are to be taken home. These can be collected over the years and shared with family and friends.
PDMU is taught as a separate area of learning within the Curriculum, but it also permeates into all other areas of school life. We have had many opportunities to take PDMU out of the classroom. Teaming up with ‘Linking Generations Northern Ireland’ is an example of this. We have taken part in their ‘All Ages April Intergenerational Project’ over the years. For example, Primary 4 celebrated VE day with the residents of Domnall Care Home in conjunction with their World War 2 World Around Us topic. The evaluations of both the residents and the children showed just how much was gained from such an event.
We prioritise the mental health of all our pupils. Following the pandemic and an increase in community awareness of pupil mental health, PDMU has been given even more significance. Giving the children tools to help them manage their feelings and emotions during periods of readjustment continues to be very important. Each year group has taken part in many extra activities to promote calmness, resilience, emotional regulation, and mental well-being.
Anti-bullying week is an important week in our diary; providing opportunities for dialogue on the different types of bullying such as verbal, physical, online or in person and how we can be united in combatting it. Odd Socks Day helps to raise awareness and allows us to celebrate the fact that we are all unique.
Religious Education is a compulsory part of the Northern Ireland Curriculum. It focuses on encouraging children to become informed and inquisitive about their own and others’ religious beliefs and practices.
The syllabus provides a basis for Religious Education teaching that schools can build on in a way that suits their pupils’ needs and the school’s ethos. Each class teacher has responsibility for Religious Education with overall schemes being co-ordinated to provide sequential progression.
Parents can withdraw their child from part or all of Religious Education or collective worship. They may do this by contacting their child's teacher or by contacting the Principal in writing - email@example.com